Back in 2014, Exeter Hospiscare staff were very touched when 12 year old Josie Sanders handed them a beautiful poem. Josie’s poem expressed how she felt about her experience with the local charity after her Granddad Geoff Fletcher, 80, spent his last few days at the city hospice. Just six weeks earlier he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Josie wrote the poem as a way of coping with her grief and to express how overwhelmed her whole family were by the support they received at Hospiscare.
Now 2 years later Josie’s poem has been put to music by the Musical Director of the Hospiscare Choir, Alfie Pugh. Josie and her mum Jenny had a personal preview of the song this week, when the choir sang it to them in an intimate performance at Searle House.
Josie said ““I found it easier to express my feelings in a poem rather than trying to speak them. Although some lines were difficult to write, others came a lot easier to me. It was so funny to hear the choir actually singing my poem, and really nice. I know Granddad would of loved it.”
Geoff’s daughter, Josie’s mum, Jenny Sanders said: “When Dad was ill and we arrived at the hospice we could finally take a deep breath and relax. Dad loved watching the birds and squirrels in the garden and we knew he was safe here. It’s so different from when he was in hospital. I was always worried and felt like I couldn’t leave him, it was such a stressful time for the whole family. I hadn’t experienced a hospice before and had some preconceived ideas of what it would be like, so I was really apprehensive about it. I shouldn’t have worried, as soon as Dad came into Hospiscare he fell in love with the place and the people; nothing was ever too much trouble for anyone. That meant so much to our family as we could all go home for a bit, knowing he was being so well cared for. He had the best last week he could possibly have.”
The song will be performed to the general public when the Hospiscare Choir sing on Sunday 18th December at 6pm in Exeter Cathedral, for the Light Up A Life remembrance service.